Consumers Growing Accustomed to Lower Gas Prices?

Posted December 3, 2015 at 6:05am

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “as gasoline prices have hit a record-setting low for the second time this year, the phenomenon has been met with more indifference this time around. The dulled reaction is a consequence of just how prolonged the depression of crude oil prices — and by extension gasoline prices — has been and is expected to be.”  

“Prices go down, optimism (generally) goes up.”  

“Gasoline prices are the best predictors of consumer optimism of the broader economy, said Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives for the National Association of Convenience Stores, a trade group that represents retail gasoline outlets and that surveys consumers’ optimism each month.”  

“’There’s a direct link between falling gas prices and optimism rising,’ Mr. Lenard said, noting that survey respondents consistently say gas prices affect their overall mood about the economy. However, ‘While optimism is up compared to this time last year, it’s still not that high of a level.’”